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Women's Conference Adopts Media Clause

Women's Conference Adopts Media Clause

By Losana McGowan

NADI, Fiji (Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch): Regional journalists have welcomed the adoption of a media clause in the Pacific Platform for Action on Women by a major regional women¹s conference in Fiji.

There was no media clause in the PPA for consideration by the ninth triennial conference for Pacific Women being held at Nadi, much to the chagrin of media representatives at the meeting.

Lisa Williams-Lahari, women's communications officer of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community¹s (SPC), was one of the main backers of the move to have a clause included in the document, which looks at ways of advancing the welfare of Pacific Island women.

In her presentation on women and the media, she questioned why a media clause was not included in the PPA.

She stressed the importance of the media as tool for the advancement of women.

"This move by our leaders to adopt the media speaks well for future relationships between media workers and other stakeholders working towards the advancement of women in the region,² Williams-Lahari said.

The PPA, which was endorsed by Pacific leaders and presented at the Beijing Convention on Women in 1995, was reviewed at the Nadi event.

The executive editor of Papua New Guinea¹s The National newspaper, Yehiura Hriehwazi, said the people of the region would benefit from the adoption of the media clause.

Hriehwazi said it was now up to the journalists who attended the media think tank to distribute and educate members of the public on gender issues.

³If we return to our home countries and fail to disseminate the information, then it is of no use.²

A senior reporter with a regional news agency, Vasiti Ritova, also hailed the move to include a media think tank before the meeting.

³We got to discuss the issue at length and when the actual meeting started, we were well-versed with the issue,² said the Pacnews journalist.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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